Title:
Dual-intake air capsule
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A dual-intake air capsule includes a hollow main body having a resilient top, an opposite bottom and a side wall connecting the top and the bottom. Two intake valves and two discharge valves are mounted to the side wall. A resilient pillar is arranged inside the main body with a lower end fixed to the bottom and an upper physically engaging and thus supporting the top. All the valves are one-way valves whereby when the top of the main body is depressed by an external load, air inside the main body is pumped out through the discharge valves. When the loaded is removed, the resiliency of the top of the main body and the resilient pillar return the top of the main body to the original position, which forces surrounding air into the main body through the intake valves. Thus air can be continuously pumped by the air capsule.



Inventors:
Wu, Chien-i (Chung-Li City, TW)
Application Number:
10/846177
Publication Date:
11/17/2005
Filing Date:
05/13/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A43B7/08; A43B13/20; B65D1/00; (IPC1-7): B65D1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
AHMAD, NASSER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lin & Associates (Saratoga, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A dual-intake air capsule, comprising a main body having a resilient top and a bottom, two intake valves and two outlet valves mounted to the main body, a resilient pillar being mounted to the bottom of the main body and having an upper end physically engaging and thus supporting the top of the main body.

2. The dual-intake air capsule as claimed in claim 1, wherein the pillar is made of a polymeric material.

3. The dual-intake air capsule as claimed in claim 2, wherein the polymeric material comprises polyurethane.

4. The dual-intake air capsule as claimed in claim 1, wherein the bottom of the main body defines an opening, the pillar having a lower end around which an annular groove is defined to receive an inner circumference of the opening therein to securely fix the pillar inside the main body and form an airtight sealing between the pillar and the opening.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention is generally related to an air capsule, and more particularly to a dual-intake air capsule.

2. The Prior Arts

It is a common sense that at least an outnumbered people suffer discomfort from wearing shoes all days, which causes the feet sweaty and moldy due to lack of proper ventilation. This is even more severe in sultry summer days.

For improvements, an air-capsule pump is arranged in shoes such that air can be cyclically forced in and out of the shoes when the pump undergoes compression and expansion phases alternately. However, in some examples, the air-capsule pump is placed outside a heel base, which does not provide smooth air exchange. In Taiwan Patent Application No. 91201848, which was filed by the present inventor, an air capsule for shoes is disclosed, which comprises a single air intake. Practice shows that a single air intake is not sufficient for the air capsule to perform sufficient air exchange to get satisfactory result in removing heat and humidity from the shoes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A primary object of the present invention is to provide a dual-intake air capsule, which provides an enhanced effect of air ventilation for shoes.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a dual-intake capsule supported by an inside resilient pillar, which has a prolonged lifetime.

In order to realize the above objects, a dual-intake air capsule made in accordance with the present invention comprises a main body, two intake valves, two discharge valves, and a resilient pillar. The main body comprises a hollow casing having a top face. The main body is elastically deformable when subject to forcible depression and is allowed to return to its original shape when the depression is removed. Four apertures are perforated in a lateral wall of the main body and respectively in communication with the intake valves and the discharge valves. An opening is formed in a bottom of the main body for receiving and vertically supporting the resilient pillar. An end of the resilient pillar forms an annular groove, which receives an inner circumference of the opening of the main body, while an opposite end of the pillar physically engages and thus resiliently support a top of the capsule.

Since the resilient pillar helps sharing a portion of a wearer's weight, the load that is actually taken by the top of the main body is reduced. Thus, the life span of the dual-intake air capsule of the present invention can be prolonged significantly.

For more detailed information regarding advantages and features of the present invention, at least one example of preferred embodiment will be described below with reference to the annexed drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The related drawings in connection with the detailed description of the present invention to be made later are described briefly as follows, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an air capsule constructed in accordance with the present invention, which is illustrated in an up-side-down manner;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the air capsule of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of the air capsule of the present invention, showing air intake and discharge performed by the air capsule;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a shoe in which the air capsule of the present invention is embedded, with air flow through the shoe indicated by arrows; and

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of FIG. 4, showing depression of the air capsule by the weight of a wearer.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference to the drawings and in particular to FIGS. 1 and 2, a dual-intake air capsule constructed in accordance with the present invention, generally designated with reference numeral 1, comprises a hollow main body 11 having a side wall (not labeled) to which two intake valves 111 and two discharge valves 112 are mounted and in fluid communication with an interior space of the main body 11.

The main body 11 is an integrally formed hollow casing, which in the embodiment illustrated, comprises a flat bottom and a slightly convex top 114 (see FIGS. 4 and 5). The main body 11, and particularly top 114 thereof, is made of a resilient or elastically deformable material whereby when the top 114 takes a depression load, as shown in FIG. 5, the top 114 deforms and when the load is removed, the top 114 returns to the original convex configuration.

The intake and discharge valves 111, 112 can be mounted to the main body 11 in any known manner. For example and as shown in the embodiment illustrated, four apertures (not labeled) are perforated in the side wall of the main body 11 and the intake and discharge valves 111, 112 are connected to the apertures. Preferably, the intake valves 111 are arranged in two opposite sides of the main body 11, while the discharge valves 112 are provided to a single side of the main body 11 other than those two mentioned sides having the intake valves 111.

An opening 113 is formed in the bottom of the main body 11 to receive and retain a resilient pillar 12. The pillar 12 has a lower end around which an annular groove 121 is defined and an opposite upper end. The lower end of the pillar 12 is fit into the bottom opening 113 of the main body 11 with the groove 121 receiving an inner circumference of the opening 113 thereby securely fixing the pillar 12 in position. It is noted that lower end of the pillar 12 has an outside diameter that is greater than an inner diameter of the opening 131 in order to ensure proper engagement between the inner circumference of the bottom opening 131 and the groove 121 of the pillar 12. This also ensures airtight sealing between the pillar 12 and the bottom opening 113 of the main body 11.

The pillar 12 is made of a resilient material, such as flexible polymeric material. An example is polyurethane (PU).

The pillar 12 is sized to have the upper end physically engaging and thus support the top of the main body 11 whereby when a load, such as the weight of a person wearing a shoe in which the air capsule 1 is embedded, is applied to the top of the air capsule 1, the pillar 12 helps sharing the load that is taken by the top of the air capsule 1.

Also referring to FIG. 3, both the intake valves 111 and the discharge valves 112 are one-way valves. That means the intake valves 111 only allow intake of air from the surroundings, while the discharge valves 112 only permit air to go out of the air capsule 1 and enter the inside of a shoe. Both prevent airflows in reversed directions. Routes of airflows that run from the intake valves 111, through the interior of the main body 11, toward the discharge valves 112 are shown in FIG. 3. Once a load is applied to the air capsule 1, air inside the main body 1 is compressed and forcibly discharged into the shoe through the discharge valves 112. Due to the one-way airflow feature of the intake valves 111, air that is compressed inside the main body 11 is blocked from discharging through the intake valves 111. The resiliency of the main body 1 and the pillar 12 return the top of the main body 1 back to the unloaded condition, which induces a suction force to air around the intake valves 111, which in turn brings the air into the air capsule 1 through the intake valves 111. At this moment, the discharge valves 112 are closed and air in the shoe is not allowed to get back into the capsule 1 through the discharge valves 112. The loading and unloading of the air capsule 1 can be cyclically repeated by means of for example the walking movement of the shoe wearer.

FIG. 4 shows a practical application of the air capsule 1 of the present invention. The air capsule 1 is embedded in a heel of a shoe sole 2. The walking load is applied to the top of the main body 11, which depresses the top of the main body 11 downwards. As mentioned above, when the top of the main body 11 is loaded, the air inside the air capsule 1 is compressed and pumped out through the discharge valves 112. A guide channel 21 formed in side the sole 2 guides the air that is discharged from the air capsule 1 to a plurality of vents 22 defined in an inner sole of the shoe. Thus, the air is released into the shoe and flow around the wearer's foot. In such a manner by depressing and releasing the air capsule 1 repeatedly, air is continuously pumped into the shoe, providing excellent ventilation for the interior of the shoe and removing heat and humidity from the shoe.

Also referring to FIG. 5, the pillar 12 is provided to share load on the top of the capsule 1. This postpones fatigue of the main body 11 of the air capsule 1 after a long time operation. Thus, the life span of the air capsule 1 can be effectively extended.

In the above described, at least one preferred embodiment has been described in detail with reference to the drawings annexed, and it is apparent that numerous changes or modifications may be made without departing from the true spirit and scope thereof, as set forth in the claims below.